Haifa is on the "front line" in any action in the north but this blog looks at life in the shadow of danger to all of Israel
Sunday, February 17, 2013
The Calm and the Calamity
Taking a few days off to visit the incredible wild flowers now seen in the Western Negev, we were touring just 3-4 kms from the border with Gaza. When we informed a friend in the States of our plans, her reaction was "isn't that dangerous?". I suppose that unless one lives here and is aware of the realities of way we live our lives, the influence of the media creates an image in one's minds that is totally removed from reality.
From our last visit to the area it was good to see that the government has finally got round to building safe rooms for those residents living close to the border with Gaza. Although there is still work to be done, we saw many, many homes such as those pictured below which avoids the need to run to an outside shelter within 15 seconds.
Addition of safe room to one's home gives more security
We had also read in a recent Jerusalem Post report that the shop owners in Sderot were still struggling after the enforced shutdown of their businesses due to the last outbreak of violence some weeks ago. Whilst the government has paid some compensation to shop owners, for many, it did not cover their expenses and they were finding it difficult to meet their obligations.
As we have a number of grandchildren's birthdays coming up shortly, my wife felt that we could help in a small way by buying presents in Sderot.
The newspaper referred to one specific shop keeper who had a jewelry shop "near the city center" and gave his name. We parked our car in the center and spent half an hour asking residents if they know of such a name. After the 5th or 6th time we hit the jackpot and found "Eduard". He was so overjoyed at our visit as a result of the newspaper write up. Unfortunately, he didn't have the type of item we were looking for but he introduced us to his friend nearby and we were pleased to be able to buy from him.
Eduard in front of his jewelry shop
The calm and serene atmosphere, the peaceful quiet we felt as we toured the area made it difficult to believe that just a few short weeks ago, rockets were constantly raining down indiscriminently on all and sundry. The calamitous situation were life became abnormal was not apparent with anyone whom we talked to. In fact the kibbutz where we stayed escaped without a single hit. Yes, miracles did happen.